French tourists 'held for ransom'

Somali pirates demand more than $1m to free hostages, maritime offical says.

    Eight ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden since the end of July [File pic - AFP]

    "We can only pray that the pirates release the hostages. We are powerless to help," said Abdullahi Saed Yusuf, the district commissioner of Eyl.

    Commando operation

    The French foreign ministry said earlier that two French nationals were seized with the Venezuelan-registered boat.

    French commandos carried out an operation in April and captured six pirates after a group of Somalis seized a French luxury sailing ship, Le Ponant, with its 30 crew, including 22 French nationals, and held them for a week.

    Since the end of July, eight ships have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, including two Malaysian vessels as well as others from Germany, Iran and Japan.

    The waters off Somalia are the most dangerous in the world for pirate attacks, with the International maritime bureau reporting 24 incidents in the area between April and June this year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.